Manuscript Group 176, Ezra A. Carman (1834-1909), Civil War Officer
CARMAN, EZRA A. (1834- 1909), Civil War officer.
Papers, 1861-1903. 1 ft.
Journals, 1862-65; correspondence and military records relating to Carman’s service as an officer in the 7th and l3th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry Regiments; “Seventh New Jersey Inf. to Battle of Williamsburg, Personal Account” by Ezra A. Carman… Written about 1872; Sketch of Early History of l3th N.J. Vol. Infantry. “Reminiscences of the Army of Northern Virginia”; interleaved copy of a booklet describing the eighteenth reunion of the Veteran Association of the Thirteenth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, published in Newark in 1903. Born in Metuchen, N.J., Carman graduated from the Western Military Institute in Kentucky in 1855. He was an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Nashville and received his Master of Arts degree from that institution in 1858. During the Civil War he rose to the rank of brevet brigadier general of United States Volunteers, serving in the Army of the Potomac and Army of the Cumberland. Between 1871 and 1875 he was Comptroller for Jersey City, and from 1877 to 1885 he was Chief Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Included are letters of:
T. Olden, Charles S
Hancock, Winfield Scott
Ricord, Frederick W
Stockton, Robert F.,Jr
Townsend, G A
McClellan, George B. (1826-85)
Tucker, Isaac M.
Ward, Marcus L
Gift (in part) of Dr. L.D. Carman, 1932.
New Jersey Historical Society Library
Manuscript Collection Manuscript Group # 176
Ezra Ayers Carman Papers
Processed by Eva Bikles
Edited by Stephen Sullivan
Ezra Ayers Carman was born at Oak Tree, near Metuchen, Middlesex County, N.J. on February 27, 1834, the oldest son of Nelanchton Freeman Carman and Ann Maria Ayers, E. A. Carman received his early education in Middlesex County. In 1849 he was a clerk in the Rahway Post Office and in 1850 in the Farmers Bank of Rahway.
He entered the Western Military Institute at Drennon Springs, Ky. as a cadet on September 13, 1853. On June 7, 1855 he received a degree of A.B. and delivered class valedictory. This institution became the University of Nashville, Tenn. Here, in 1855 he was appointed as Assistant Professor of Mathematics. He occupied that chair during the years 1855 and 1856.
Ezra A. Carman received the degree of A. M.. from the University of Nashville in 1858. At the commencement of the civil war he was engaged as a bookkeeper of T. P. Howell’s leather manufactory at Newark.
He was present, as a civilian, at the first battle of Bull Run in July 22, 1861. He was commissioned Lieut. Colonel of the 7th. New Jersey Volunteer Infantry Division on September 8, 1861 and served with this regiment until the battle of Williamsburg, Va. on May 5 , 1862 where he was severely wounded in the right arm. While home recovering from his wound he was commissioned Colonel of the 13th. N. J. Vol. Infantry and served with this regiment until mustered out on June 8, 1865. He commanded a brigade in the Atlanta campaign as well as during the march to the sea and was, for a time, Military Governor of Tullahoma, Tenn. He was on leave of absence in the early part of 186$ and was not with the 13th. N. J. Vol. Infantry on the campaign through the Carolina’s. He was commissioned Brevet Brigadier General, U. S. Volunteers to rank from March 13, 1865. He had been engaged in twenty three battles during the civil war.
From the close of the war until 1870 he was in the lumber business at Newark and Jersey City. He was Comptroller of Jersey City from 1871 to 1875. Chief Clerk of the U. S. Department of Agriculture from July 1877 to April 1885, member of the Antietam Battlefield Board from October 1894 to July 1898 and succeeded General H. V. Boynton as Chairman of the Chickamauga – Chattanooga National Park Commission in July 8, 1905 which position he held at the date of his death from pneumonia at Washington, D. C. on December 25, 1909. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetary on December 29, 1909.
General Carman was the author of a volume on the “Sheep Industry of the U.S. east of the Mississippi River”, published by the National Department of Agriculture in 1892. As historical expert of the Antietam Board he prepared the inscriptions for the government tablets marking that field and the locations of the troops at this battle were fixed by him for the Antietam Atlas published by the War Department, He was the author of two hundred and twenty war articles for the Encyclopedia Americana and was highly regarded as an authority on all matters pertaining to the civil war.
General Carman was twice married. His first wife was Luisa Salmon and his second Ada Salmon, a sister of the first. Ezra Ayers Carman was born at Oak Tree. near Metuchen, Middlesex County, N.J. on February 27, 1834. the oldest son of Melanchton Freeman Carman and Ann Maria Ayers, E. A. Carman received his early education in Middlesex County. In 1849 he was a clerk in the Rahway Post Office and in 1850 in the Farmers Bank of Rahway.
He entered the Western Military Institute at Drennon Springs, Kentucky as a cadet on September 13, 1853. On June 7, 1855 he received a degree of A.B. and delivered class valedictory. This institution became the University of Nashville, Tenn. Here, in 1855 he was appointed as Assistant Professor of Mathematics. He occupied that chair during the years 1855 and 1856. Ezra A. Carman received the degree of A. M. from the University of Nashville in 1858. At the commencement of the civil war he was engaged as a bookkeeper of T. P. Howell’s leather manufactory at Newark.
This collection was, in part, a gift to the Society from Doctor L.D. Carman in 1932. The fine Doctor is a direct descendant of Ezra Ayers Carman.
Scope and Content Note:
Journals, 1862-65; correspondence and military records relating to Carman,s service as an officer in the 7th and l3th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry Regiments; ” “Seventh New Jersey Inf. to Battle of Williamsburg, Personal Account by Ezra A. Carman… Written about 1872”; “”Sketch of Early History of l3th N.J. Vol. Infantry. “Reminiscences of the Army of Northern Virginia”; interleaved copy of a booklet describing the eighteenth reunion of the Veteran Association of the Thirteenth Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, published in Newark in 1903. Born in Metuchen,
N.J., Carman graduated from the Western Military Institute in Kentucky in 1855. He was an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Nashville and received his Master of Arts degree from that institution in 1858. During the Civil War he rose to the rank of brevet brigadier general of United States Volunteers, serving in the Army of the Potomac and Army of the Cumberland. Between 1871 and 1875 he was Comptroller for Jersey City, and from 1877 to 1885 he was Chief Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Included are letters of:
T. Olden, Charles S
Hancock, Winfield Scott
Ricord, Frederick W
Stockton, Robert F.,Jr
Townsend, G A
McClellan, George B. (1826-85)
Tucker, Isaac M.
Ward, Marcus L
Note: One folder per series, except where otherwise indicated.
176.1 Military Reports and Historical Sketches – 1861 – 1865 (1887 1888) 5 items not necessarily in chronological order.
1) Chancellorsville Battle.- Contains Index, Description of the Regiment of the 13th. N. J. Volunteers, its organization and function from 1861 to 1865; list of Field Staff of the 13th. Regiment ; Roster of the Regiment. Organization of the Army of the Potomac commanded by Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, May 16, 1863. Includes reports from Maj. General Henry W., Slocum, commanding the 12th, Army Corps (including casualty list), from Brig. Gen. Alpheus S. Williams and Brig. Gen. Thomas N. Ruger, among others.
Contains another report, with Index, on the Organization of the Union Forces commanded by Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman from January to April. 1865 and includes a report from Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, U.S. Commanding Officer, Military Division of the Mississippi, Headquarters at Goldsborough, N. C . dated April 4, 1865. Includes further reports from Goldsborough by Maj. Gen. H. W. Slocum, Maj. Gen., Alpheus S. Williams, Brig. Gen. N. J. Jackson, among others.
2) The Campaign of the Carolinas.- Contains a detailed account of the formation of the 13th. N. J. Volunteer Regiment. The Regiment was organized under the provision of an Act of Congress approved on July 22, 1861 and under a call issued by the President of the United States, dated July 7, 1862 for 300,000 additional volunteers to serve for three years during the war. This Regiment was one of the five regiments required as the quota for this State as set forth in a telegram received from the War Department dated July 8, 1862. The Regiment was fully organized, equipped and officered by the 25th. of August, 1862 and mustered at Camp Frelinghuysen, Newark, N. J. It included 38 army officers and 899 non-commissioned officers and privates – a total of 937 volunteers. It left the State on August 31, 1862 en route to Washington, D, C. At camp near Fort Richardson on Arlington Heights, Va., it was assigned to the Third Brigade, First Division, 12th. Corps Army of the Potomac In November 1864 they joined the Army of General Sherman on his march through Georgia and the Carolinas, The Regiment remained in active service until the close of the war.
Includes a personal report by Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman to Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas about first lodging at Savannah “strangely fortified and armed”. “I advised General Grant that I intended to make Goldsborough an open communication with the sea.
3) Official Reports – 13th. N. J. Vol. Infantry, April 27 – Sept. 2, 1864 These include hand-written reports by E, A. Carman about the Georgia Campaign, from Duck River to Atlanta from Apr. 27 to Sept. 2, 1864. He “struck through Duck River Bridge” to join the Brigade and mentions the injured. Includes Carman’s 15-page report to Lt. E, G. Fay of September 6, 1864 with its casualty list.
4) General Orders. 13th. N. J. Vol. Infantry, July 30, 1862 to Febr. 20, 1864. (214 pieces). It deals with troop transfers of this Regiment by command of Maj. General H. W. Slocum (Oct. 26, 1862). Includes:
General Order #13 from Head Quarters (H.Q. ) of 3rd. Brigade, 1st,. Div, October 24, 1862. In accordance with orders received from the War Dept., ten men only from each Company of a regiment were to be allowed to volunteer for regular army service. There is an order for Col. Carman to take command of the detachment of his Regiment near Sharpsburg Under General Orders No. 3 from H. Q. at Stafford, Va. Brig. Gen. A. S. Williams expresses to the troops of his command his high satisfaction with their “soldierly conduct displayed in a recent arduous march from Fairfax Station to this H. Q.” The hardship and privation resulted from the storm during a march over impassible roads without shelter. Another General Order from Maj. Gen. Slocum of May 23 , 1863, H. near Stafford, Va. deals with the arraignment of a Colonel E. . Livingston Price, of New York Vols., charged with “Gross Cowardice & Misbehavior in the presence of the enemy.” General Order No. 53 from H.Q. 1st. Div. 12th. Corps. near Racoon, Ford. Va., Sept, 21, 1863 deals with the execution of Private John Tindin, New York Vols., for desertion.
5) Sketch of the early history of the 12th. N, J. Vol. Infantxy by E. A. Carman – 15 pages. It deals mostly with the manning and appointment of the staff.
176.2 Diary of E. A. Carman, Col. of the 13th. N. J. Vols. Infantry, Aug. 31, 1862 to May 1$, 1863 – Two Items (Item 1 consists of 5 pieces. Item 2 of 5 pieces), not necessarily in chronological order.
1) “I had at home all the endearments of a man’s life, a good, affectionate wife and a young child just budding into language.” In poetic prose E. A. Carman writes of his decision to join the war effort. He describes passing through Elizabeth, Rahway and Mew Brunswick, Princeton Trenton and Camden. He speaks of marching to the Washington Depot and the forming of the corps of volunteers there. He deals with transport and food supplies, storms, exhaustion. He reported to General Whipple at Fort Runyon and speaks of newspaper reports that the Rebels have crept into Maryland and are near Harpers Ferry on their way to Pennsylvania. “The north wants arousing and this would do it very effectively.” Officers are “green and inexperienced.” He tells of meeting General Gordon and later of orders to move, of the firing of artillery and small arms, “making the Sabbath hideous with discord ft
176.3 General Orders (mislabeled Official Reports) 13th. N. J. Vol. Infantry Apr. 27 Sept. 2, 1864. 14, Items (Item 2 = 16 pages, Item 12 == 3 items. Item 13 = 2 items.) Not necessarily in chronological order, Includes: one booklet marked E. A. Carman, Col. 13th. N. J. Vols., March 26, 1864 that contains a map of the mountain region of North Carolina and Tennessee, as well as various circulars from H.Q., 3rd. Brigade near Sharpsburg, Md. urging greater vigilance by the regimental commanders to prevent communication with the enemy from within the enclosures of each command. No one may be allowed through boundaries without proper and satisfactory evidence of his loyalty” Flags of Truce on the Potomac are the only communication allowed. One circular deals with a report of the presence of rebels with a large force on the road from Winchester to Bunker Hill and approaching Mattiasburg It is speculated they might design an attack on Harpers Ferry and cross the Potomac under cover of their guns. Brig. Gen. Geo. H. Gordon intends to meet them at Harpersviile with the cooperation of General Slocum’s force. Intelligence confirms the Rebel’s presence. Again, renewed and increased vigilance is urged. Uniformity and cooperation in carrying out orders are also demanded.
Included (on page 436 – May 1-3. 1863): a list of regiments that sustained the greatest losses in the Battle of Chancellorsville. Further inclusions: a newsbulletin from the United States Military Telegraph, Louisville, of Nov. 8, 1864 that gives Lincoln a 25% majority at this election, and brings a stockmarket report on gold and cotton: a printed proclamation by Charles S. Olde, Gov. of the State of New Jersey regarding an appeal by the President of the United States for 300.000 volunteers, one newspaper column concerning an execution at Nashville Tenneessee of five condemned prisoners, another column confirming the execution of the five prisoners.
176.4 General Orders – 13th, N. J. Volunteer Infantry, July 30, 1862 – Febr. 20, 1864 3 items – not necessarily in chronological order.
Includes handwritten letters or copies of a series of letters dated Nov. 15, to December 11, 1864 dealing with troop movements of the 13th. N. J. Vol. Also contains a newspaper report of the arrival home of the 13th Regiment of Col. E. A. Carman and other officers and a ledger booklet marked E. A. Carman, Col. of the 13th. N. J. Vols. dated Nov. 1$, 1864 describing troop movements .
176.5 Entitled “Sketch of Early History (1861 – 1865) of the 13th. N. J. Vol.
Infantry by E. A. Carman. 3 Items. (Item 1 = 13 items. Item 2 = 14 pages, Item 3 =: bound report.) Not necessarily in chronological order.
Contains orders and papers relating to the Atlanta Campaign of the 13th. N. J. Vol. Infantry, and a casualty list; also deals with reconnaissance excursions near Atlanta in conjunction with the Ohio Vols, in Sept. 1864 . It further includes a report of troop movements of the 20th. Army Corps under Gen. Williams’ command from the 28th, of July to the 27th. of August. There is an account entitled “Reminiscences of the Army of Northern Virginia No. 111” beginning with the capture of Winchester. “Crossing the Potomac on May 28, having driven the enemy back from Charleston to Harpers Ferry, McClellan had been gradually closing in on Richmond and waiting for help from McDowell’s columns.”(t “Washington, May 20, 1862 – Gen. Fremont has been ordered by telegraph -to move from Franklin to Harrisburgh to relieve Gen. Banks and capture Jackson’s and Ewell’s forces.” etc.
176.6 Marked “CIVIL WAR PERIOD – Letters and Documents”. I860 – 1865 – 26 Items, (Item 3 == 15 pages, Item 6=7 pages, Item 11 = 4 items, Item 12 = 3 pages, Item 25 == 3 pages) Not necessarily in chronological order.
Contains Col. Carman’s observations of a personal nature – from June 9 to Nov. 22, 1663. He also describes marches and military engagements between May 14, to May 31, 1863. Two pages contain the names of persons who have taken the Oath of Allegiance to the U. S. from Nov. 9 to Nov. 27, 1863 . Included is a sheet containing a “Model Oath” without name or date This folder contains a typewritten biography of Ezra Ayers Carman which has been reproduced and which appears at the beginning of this M.G. Series. The biography in this folder contains additional biographical details. Also included: Special Order No. 85, Dec. 9, 1862, H.Q, 3rd. Brigade at Sharpsburg, Md. to march on the road to Harpers Ferry by the way of Antietam and to make arrangements for the sick. Order No. 6 dated May 15, 1864. H.Q. Military Div. of the Mississippi concerns troop movement involving Generals McPherson, Kilpatrick, Thomas, Palmers, Schofield and Hooker by orders of Maj. Gen. Wm. T. Sherman. A special order dated June 12, 1865 from the Mastering Office at Trenton, N. J. designates Trenton for all returning regiments of New Jersey Volunteers. Special Field Order No. 6, H.Q. 20th. Corps, Savannah, Ga, dated Jan. 10, 1865 conveys the President’s (of the United States) and Lieut. Gen. Grant’s high sense of appreciation for the campaign that resulted in the capture of Savannah and the defeat of Hood’s Army, Signed Maj. Gen. Wm. T. Sherman According to minutes of a Library Committee dated Newark, May 29, 1860 in this folder, Ezra A. Carman appears as one of the co-founders of
Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs together with William A. Whitehead, S. H. Cougan Peter Duryee, S. Elotsen and W. Rutherford,
176.7 Correspondence, military orders and reports, early history of the 13th. N. J. Vol. Infantry – 1861 – 1865 – 42 Items. (Item 2-13 pages, Item 15 = 6 pages, Item 16 = 7 pages, Item 31 == 4 pages, Item 32 = 4 pages.) Not necessarily in chronological order.
Includes copies of Military Reports from Jan. 30 to May 9, 1863 from Gen. Jos. Hooker, Comm’g. Officer of the Army of the Potomac, In a letter to the President of the United States dated April 11, 1863 Gen. Hooker submits a plan for approval. There are orders and instructions from H. Q. – Army of the Potomac, Va., dated Apr. 12, 1863 for military divisionary tactics, for the destruction of railroad bridges in order to cut off enemy communication. (Sign. Gen. S. Williams.) Included is a military order by Maj. Gen. Hooker dated June 27, 1863 that the cavalry be sent in the direction of Gettysburgh and Emmittsburgh. There is a typewritten account of the early history of the 13th. N. J. Vol. Regiment, dated July 12, 1862 in which Col. Carman describes how, with the assistance and authorization of Governor C. S. Olden of New Jersey, and New Jersey Attorney General F. T. Frelinghuysen (after whom the mustering camp at Newark was named) he (Col. Carman) organized the 13th. N. J. Vol. Regiment. This regiment was assigned to the Second Military Division of the State that embraced the counties of ESSEX, Hudson, Bergen and Passaic. There are numerous requests for military appointments. Also, included are lengthy reports by the Rev. F. R. Beck, Chaplain to the 13th. N. J. Vols. and who, by an Act of Congress of July 22, 1861 must report to the commanding officer (Col. Carman) quarterly about the moral and religious condition of this regiment. The most distressing moral problems; profanity and gambling . (Because of gambling, some wives and their children at home are deprived of support. There are several demands for support.) A report of Dec. 11, 1864 addressed to Col. Carman speaks of the capture of a rebel steam boat on Savannah River.
176.8 ONE Bound VOLUME – VETERAN ASSOCIATION Of the 13th regiment New Jersey Volunteers – 1862 – 1865 – Eighteenth Reunion held at Antietam, Mid. held on September 16 and 17, 1903. Not necessarily in chronological order. This volume contains a map of the field of Sharpsburg or of Antietam, showing the positions of the armies at 3 p.m. on September 17, 1862. There are photographic plates, a program of (Sept. 17, 1903) the Reunion photographs of the participating officers of the campaign and a photograph of farmland that was the battlefield of Antietam. There is a letter of the War Department, Washington of May 5, 1904. acknowledging the parceling of land on the Antietam Battlefield upon which the State of New Jersey has erected a monument that had been authorized by an Act of Congress of August 30, 1890. (sign. Ass’t. Sec’y of War, Hobert Shaw Oliver.)
Then there is a printed review of the eighteenth Reunion (13 pages) and a Dedication of the New Jersey Monument on the Battlefield of Antietam as well as an address delivered on this occasion, and newsprints dealing with the Dedication of the 13th. N. J. Vol. Monument at Antietam. Included also are photographic plates of the National Cemetery at Sharpsburg.
176.9 One Bound Volume entitled Battle of Williamsburg, a Personal Account by Ezra A. Carman, Lt. Col. 7th. N. J. Vol. Infantry, written about 1873 contains a photographic plate of E. A. Carman (Febr. 26, 1834 to December 25, 1909) and a personal account dated November 1860. In it Carman speaks of his great admiration of Abraham Lincoln, praising his originality during the Illinois Senate race against Senator Douglas and of attending and sveltering in mass meetings. There are comments on the weakness of Buchanan and the treachery of the Cabinet. He tells leaving Newark on July 16, 1861 to visit the Second N. J. Regiment and of his resolve to see the Secretary of War in order to obtain authority to raise a regiment of volunteers in New Jersey. He mentions being asked by Senator Frelinghuysen, then Attorney General of New Jersey, to accept a field officer’s position on August of 1861,